According to the NBRC (National Board for Respiratory Care), a person can be qualified to take the RRT exam after they have met one of several criteria. The most straightforward way for a person who is not in the industry to become in RRT is as follows. They must graduate from an associates degree granting college program that has been accredited by the CoARC (Committee on the Accreditation of Respiratory Care), and then, they must pass their CRT exam. Once they have earned their CRT exam, they can apply to take their RRT exam. Both exams must be completed within three years of graduating from the program. However, the NBRC has optional routes in place for professionals who are already in the industry. For instance, CRT’s with four years of clinical experience may also apply to take the RRT exam. This allows people who have entered the field with various levels of educational backgrounds to take the exams and earn the designation RRT.
If you are entering a program, you can expect to take similar classes regardless of whether you wish to become a CRT or an RRT. The science classes focus on biology, but they also include some chemistry and pharmacology. The practical classes teach the students how to use respiratory equipment, how to think about medical ethics, and how to advise patients about their care options. Once a person has completed these classes, he or she should be ready to work with patients. They should know how to assess a patient’s problems and how to design and implement a care plan for the patient. However, to be sure that the patient really knows this information, the NBRC requires them to pass an exam before practicing.
If a person opts to complete their Registered Respiratory Therapist program and take their RRT examination, they will enter the field as an advanced professional and thus earn an advanced salary. These qualified medical professionals are in high demand, and because the industry is growing, the demand is continuing to increase. Thus, they can expect to get a job almost immediately. This job may be at a hospital, in a clinic, or in a lab.